Frequently arms show signs of aging. Many women complain that the combination of loose skin and excess fat prevent them from wearing short sleeved shirts or sleeveless clothing. An operation to reduce the fat and skin of the upper arm is called a brachioplasty or arm lift.
In the original arm lift an incision was made from the axilla, or armpit, to the elbow on the inside of the arm. Unfortunately, this produced a long scar that was frequently wide, and many women were reluctant to have a brachioplasty for this reason. In extreme cases the original arm lift may be still the appropriate procedure.
A newer procedure that I like is called a minimal incision brachioplasty. In this operation, the areas of fat on the upper arm are marked in the shape of a contour map, and the fat is removed by liposuction, which loosens the skin. I then make a skin incision partially within the armpit and partially on the upper arm. The wound is closed tightening the skin and decreasing the diameter of the arm.
The advantage to the minimal incision brachioplasty is that the scar is not visible when the arms are at the patient's sides. Most of the hair bearing skin is removed during this procedure, which is an added benefit. I have found that many patients who would benefit from a brachioplasty are pleased with this operation.